The narcissist has 3 essential demands from his partner and companion, 3 Ss: Sex, Supply, Services. If she provides any 2 of these 3, he is pacified and ignores her: she is a captive and he is indifferent to her emotions, needs, and wishes. He takes her silent, acquiescing presence in his life for granted: an inert, lifeless, and objectified or even mummified fixture. The narcissist acts similarly towards a frustrating partner who provides only 1 or none of the 3 Ss: by withdrawing and disinvesting, absenting himself and cutting off all meaningful communication.
In both cases, the narcissist reacts with extreme abuse and rejection to any attempt to invade or control his personal space or time. To attract his attention and gain access to him, the partner needs to escalate, dramatize, render unpredictable, and exaggerate her behaviors.
Many partners react to this apathetic negation of their being by self-trashing (for example: by drinking to oblivion and having unprotected sex with a lowlife stranger, falling into bad company, self-harming with drugs or otherwise, or by engaging in other reckless and self-destructive behaviors)
The aim of these maneuvers is to communicate distress: "By ignoring and rejecting me, you are hurting me so much that I want to destroy myself. I hope the pain I am causing you now will be sufficiently potent to pierce the veil, to make you care about me, to penetrate your formidable firewall and stupor"
Usually, only the threat of abandonment or actual loss can convey this harrowing and heartbreaking message. Overt, ostentatious, purposeful and weaponized cheating is the sole way open to the partner to get through to the neglectful and oblivious other.
Ironically, this escalated cry for help is rarely restorative and often irrevocably terminal and destructive: it dooms the relationship. Half measures like triangulation are useless: all out egregious in your face infidelity is the only efficacious wake up call. But it is a last hurrah.
Scholars like Cleckley and Karpman have noted 80 years ago that misandry and misogyny coupled with a profound and abiding fear of intimacy result in psychopathic (antisocial) behaviors in adulthood. L
Such people form "intimate" relationships that are anything but: they are impersonal, dysempathic, transient, objectified, emotionless, noncommittal, defiant, defensive, entitled, and founded on destructive envious competition, deceit, contumacious counterdependency, and self-defeating recklessness. The parties are loth to share or to disclose vulnerabilities in such adversarial settings.
It is small wonder that as our civilization becomes more and more narcissistic, both men and women adopt and emulate grandiose psychopathic males as role models, gurus, and guiding lights.
But in a feat of reverse mental engineering, this paradigm change also entails a surge in inter-gender conflict and hatred: both misogyny and misandry are off the charts. The genders get together either to have casual, meaningless sex - or to tear each other down triumphantly and abusively, also via rejection, withholding, and hurtful extreme misconduct and betrayals.
Abuse in Relationships with Narcissists and Psychopaths